The Tabletop Nature of Fallout 3: Van Buren

The Tabletop Nature of Fallout 3: Van Buren

Van Buren designer Chris Avellone talked about the original vision behind isometric Fallout 3 by Interplay Entertainment.

A long time ago Interplay Entertainment used to make and publish great games. One of those games was the original Fallout. The series, while not a big blockbuster, had a direct sequel. There was a third title as well code-named Van Buren. The project never came to be, as Bethesda bought the Fallout license and took the game in a totally different direction. However, there are still hundreds of fans out there, wishing to see the original vision of Fallout 3.



For these hardcore fans Chris Avellone (Van Buren‘s designer) talked at NYU Game Center’s Practice 2015 conference about the game and its pen and paper roots. Polygon was lucky enough to witness the talk and lived to tell about it. The greatest thing was the tabletop nature of the game. Fallout 3: Van Buren was based on tabletop mechanics which could be practiced by designers in the office. The whole prototype was built with paper and a pencil. The game was basically a huge book, filled with hundreds of cool ideas.


Interestingly enough some of the ideas of Van Buren were taken into Fallout: New Vegas. A lot of the characters and areas from the canceled game made it into the world of New Vegas. For example, you could really influence the whole Wasteland and communicate extensively with your partners. These features are present in New Vegas.Iit’s great to know that we had at least a glimpse of what the original game had to ofer.


If you want to learn more about Van Buren be sure to check out this link. The tech demo of the game is also available for download.


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    The Tabletop Nature of Fallout 3: Van Buren